By Lee Enochs
Socialism is on the rise in America today. There is inconvertible evidence for this disturbing political and economic trend as veteran correspondent Andrew Malcolm reported in his recent insightful op-ed entitled, “How President Trump Helps Divide Democrats by Fanning the Flames of Socialism.” Malcolm cites a recent Gallup poll that indicates that 57% of Democrats viewed socialism positively, while only 47% viewed capitalism positively (See: Star - Telegram, February 20, 2019).
So serious is the rise of socialism in America today, that President Trump devoted a substantial portion of his recent “State of the Union” address dealing with the issue and said, “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
The economic and political issues involved here are enormous and put simply, socialism is a dubious economic theory that opposes capitalist notions of individualized profit and private property and advocates that that the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of capital, land and etc., should be controlled and regulated by the state.
Also inherent within the socialist economic scheme are the twin totalitarian evils known as statism, a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over the economic affairs of a given society, and collectivism, the economic and social theory and practice that places the ownership of lands and the means of production of a given society into the hands of the state.
The humanitarian nightmare currently transpiring in Venezuela today conclusively demonstrates that socialism does not work as an economic system and is a bankrupt totalitarian arrangement that ultimately stifles economic prosperity and represses and subjugates its citizenry.
Yet, despite these aforementioned failures of socialism that should deter Americans from adopting it as a viable economic and political system, the current enormous popularity of self-professed “Democratic-Socialists” Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez indicates that many of our fellow citizens in this country have not learned the hard historical lessons that tell the sober truth about socialism.
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives’ idea of implementing the preposterous “Green New Deal,” raising our tax rates, implementing single-payer health insurance, and giving out “free” college tuition for all, will do nothing but cripple America’s currently robust economy, through high taxation, government regulation, and lost jobs.
Case in point, the recent decision of tech giant Amazon to abandon plans to build its headquarters in NYC due to the hostility it received from Democratic-Socialists such as Ocasio-Cortez, will cost the Empire State an estimated 25,000 good paying jobs, $4 billion dollars in lost wages and billions of more dollars in lost economic activity.
Those of us who are concerned about freedom and the future of America, who still believe in free-market capitalism, personal property rights and God-given individual liberty as ascribed by the framers of the U.S. Constitution, need to fight against the rise of socialism, lest we head down the path of economic ruin, totalitarianism and subjugation to the state.
Lee Enochs is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing further graduate studies at Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Lee has also studied political science at Princeton University and is the author of, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism,” and, “The Case for Rand Paul.”